Does Gender Matter?

I recently encountered this snippet of F/F spanking in a music video from 2013:

It’s a spanking on white panties, with excellent OTK positioning and fluttering legs. What’s not to like?

Well, the drawback lies in the fact that the role of the spanked girl is played by a drag queen, Sharon Needles. ‘She’ is biologically male.

So… is the scene F/M or F/F?

The question is complicated because there is a contradiction between what the performers are representing and the medium through which it is represented.

We can explore this problem further by looking at some M/F spankings.

02 Perth 1953 01 Toledo Blade 13 April 1952

In the most literal sense, there are no human figures in these pictures. Both of them represent a man spanking a woman, but the medium of the representation is the ink with which the artists drew them. But we don’t usually think about art with that level of literalness. We don’t look at the ink: we look at the figures.

The point is that the body of the drag queen is the same as the ink: it is the medium through which the video represents a spanked woman. In theory, if you ignore the ink in order to see the figures, then you should also ignore ‘her’ maleness. If the video is F/M, then the drawings are ink/ink.

Here’s another picture for you.

03 Binnie Male

This leaves me completely cold, and I don’t think that’s entirely because I’m just not very interested in caning. The schoolboy is portrayed by an actress. It is, in fact, the English comedienne Binnie Hale, in a sketch entitled ‘Food for Thought’ that formed part of her revue One – Two – Three at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, in 1947. Here’s what she looked like in real life:

04 Binnie Hale

But in the caning picture, she’s doing a passable imitation of a boy (with Charles Heslop as the schoolmaster) … so is the picture M/M or M/F?

Partly it’s an issue of how effective the representation is, which means how far the image presented occludes the medium through which it is presented. Or, putting it more simply, are we meant to, and do we, see the gender of the performer as well as the gender of the character they are playing?

Here’s Binnie Hale’s younger brother, Sonnie Hale, who co-starred with her in One – Two – Three, but is here appearing in the Emile Littler production of the pantomime Aladdin, which played at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham, for three months from December 1940.

05 Aladdin Sonnie Hale Jessie Matthews

Sonnie is playing Widow Twankey, who is spanking her son, Aladdin, but we’d have to be pretty unobservant to miss the fact that the principal boy is a girl. In fact, it’s Sonnie’s real-life wife, the legendary musical comedy star Jessie Matthews (who complained in her autobiography that Littler’s script was old-fashioned and ‘reeked of mothballs’). It’s a very attractive spanking picture… but is it M/F or F/M?

So sometimes you are meant to notice the performers’ true gender and sometimes you aren’t. And that brings us back to the spanking of Sharon Needles. Drag queens deliberately cultivate the appearance of femininity, to the extent that they customarily use the pronoun ‘she’ with reference to themselves. They are not like the usual tranny exhibitionists who are so hard to avoid seeing when you search for spanking pictures on flickr. You know, the ones who so unsuccessfully attempt to disguise their masculine features with excessive and ineffective deployment of blusher and out-of-date ‘girly’ hairdos. A bit like this:

06 Danny Dowling

That would be an excellent spanking photo if it weren’t for the ‘girl’s’ face and head. But now take a closer look at her body.

The photo shows the New Zealand stand-up comedian Danny Dowling, who mainly works in Ireland. It was taken in 2012 by Natalie Herzer-Greer, who owns the Galway firm Boudoir Girls and does pin-up photography, and it was used to publicize Dowling’s comedy ‘talent show’ entitled Brand Spanking New.

07 Danny Dowling

Thanks (or rather, in this case, no thanks) to the miracle of Photoshop, Danny Dowling appears in the photo twice. Or rather, his head does. The rest of the girl being spanked is a real girl; in fact, it’s Dowling’s wife, Lorraine Brennan. No unprocessed version of the picture seems to have escaped onto the internet, but here it is, reprocessed:

08 Danny and Lorraine

Now you can use Photoshop yourself to insert whatever female head you prefer!

And indeed, what you prefer is very much the point. At a basic level, gender does matter a lot to me, because I really don’t care for X/M spanking at all. I even feel uncomfortable about the spanking scene in On Moonlight Bay, where Gordon MacRae thinks the spanking he’s administering is M/M, and stops when he realizes that the ‘boy’ being spanked is actually Doris Day.

09 On Moonlight Bay

So the knowledge that Sharon Needles is not a girl bothers me… almost as much as it bothers me that I find the footage still gets a reaction from me, of the kind that schoolboy Binnie never has and never will, because, in a different way, Sharon Needles is a girl – and she is being spanked. Does gender matter? I just don’t know. Do you?

Men are Like Streetcars

Early in 1951, across America, there began an outbreak of teenage girls being spanked. Over the next two decades it went from sea to shining sea, from Maine and Florida to Washington State and California, taking in most points in between. The earliest documented case was in Arlington, Texas, on March 23 – participants unknown. Less than two weeks later, in Dupo, Illinois, Mary Ellen Richert was spanked twice on consecutive days, April 4 and 5, and April 6 was a bad night for the bottoms of both Pam Egeler in East Lansing, Michigan, and Nancy Clarke in Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Here’s Nancy getting her spanking from Jim Doyle:

01 1951 Leechburg HS 1

You might think there’s nothing very out of the ordinary about this: after all, a good spanking was an everyday hazard for a naughty girl in early ’50s America. But the cause of the epidemic wasn’t a sudden upsurge in teen misbehavior. The spanked girls were all appearing in a play, Men are Like Streetcars, dramatized by Christopher Sergel (1918-93) from the 1932 novel of the same title by Graeme and Sarah Lorimer.

Sergel’s main métier as a dramatist was turning novels, movies and television shows, ranging from To Kill a Mockingbird to Get Smart, into stage plays that were offered for production by amateur dramatic companies and high schools. His agency was the old-established Chicago firm, the Dramatic Publication Company; he eventually rose to become its President in 1970, and held that office for the rest of his life. The company still offers many of his plays, including another with a spanking scene that we’ll come to later in the series, though sadly Streetcars was retired from active service long ago.

The play’s central character, and the center of our interest, is Maudie Mason, an exasperating, meddlesome, essentially good-hearted teenager who proved so popular that the Lorimers went on to write another three books about her. Sergel’s script describes her as ‘a very delightful and precociously astute girl’. But unfortunately, ‘There is no personal problem too big for Maudie to solve. She knows all the answers – and never hesitates to give them.’ The title of the play is one of her pearls of wisdom: ‘Men are like streetcars: if you miss one, there’s sure to be another along soon.’

Maudie’s big problem in life is her elder sister, Sylvia: she gets to go to all the parties and she gets all the boys, while Maudie herself is treated like a little girl. She becomes so frustrated that she decides she has to get Sylvia out of the family home by finding her a husband – and at 19 years of age, believes Maudie, Sylvia is nearly an old maid, so the ‘streetcars’ maxim can’t apply to her. She does her best to get Sylvia together with Ted, the son of a banker who is considering her father and his partner, Jerry, for a business loan. She isn’t aware that Sylvia actually loves Jerry, and has done ever since high school.

Near the end of the second act, a household party is in the offing, when Jerry confronts Maudie with her lies which are ruining Sylvia’s reputation, and incidentally seem to have caused the bank to go cold on the loan.

JERRY (burning): Maudie, if you don’t tell everyone the truth –

MAUDIE: Is this a home or a police station?

JERRY (determined, crossing directly to her): You’re going to explain everything and put a stop to all this foolishness.

MAUDIE (he must be crazy): Do you want to spoil it?

JERRY (snapping at her): Spoil what?

MAUDIE: Jerry – what’s the matter with you?

JERRY (his anger mounting): You haven’t answered!

MAUDIE (really surprised, backing away a step): I’ve never seen you like this.

JERRY (barely able to control his temper): What did you say to Ted?

MAUDIE: You ought to be able to figure out what would intrigue a man. (Taunting him.) You are a man – or are you?

JERRY: That did it!

With this, he grabs Maudie by the back of her neck. He sits on sofa and pushes her head down so that she falls over his lap. He grabs up a magazine from table right of sofa and starts spanking her with it.

Streetcars 1955 Libbey HS

(Edward Drummond Libbey High School, Toledo, Ohio, on March 16, 1955.)

JERRY: You’ve had this coming for sixteen years – of all the meddling – self-important – imbecilic – brats!

MAUDIE (at the same time, wailing): Let go of me! Owww! Help! Murder! Stop it! Owwww!

Ted has come in during the spanking. He crosses to Jerry and slaps him on the back.

TED: Hey! Cut it out – you wife-beater!

Maudie scrambles away, and with her back turned, tries to straighten herself out.

Jerry’s line is obviously meant to be delivered so that each adjective coincides with a smack on her bottom, and this establishes the minimum duration of the spanking in any production: it just can’t be done in fewer than four smacks, probably more since Ted needs to have time to come in, see what’s happening, cross the stage and intervene.

Ted offers to throw Jerry out, but Maudie wants more than that: ‘I want you to kill him.’ Jerry urges her to be sanguine: ‘Don’t take it too hard. Now you’re one of those lucky girls that’s been on my lap.’ A stage direction calls for Maudie to rub ‘where she was hit’, but she is able to sit down on the sofa soon afterwards.

(The scene is a close adaptation of what happens in the book, in which Maudie describes how Jerry ‘reached up and grabbed me by the back of my neck and pushed my head down so I fell over his lap, where he was spanking me with the Saturday Evening Post’. )

Maudie later complains to Sylvia: ‘He struck me! Repeatedly.’ But her meddling has a good outcome: Jerry sends Sylvia flowers for the first time since high school. And, Sylvia explains to her mother, ‘he was so mad at Maudie for promoting Ted, he gave her a paddling’. Mrs Mason smiles. ‘I’m sorry I missed that,’ she says.

Things get worse before they get better, but in the end Mr Mason gets his loan and Sylvia gets Jerry – who warns Maudie, ‘In the future you lay off the cupid stuff, or I’ll whale you again.’

An early review of the script called the play ‘one of the best character studies of an adolescent girl that has come along in quite a while’ (Interscholastic Leaguer, March 1951), and one reason for high schools to select it for production was the many opportunities it offers for girls to participate: of the sixteen roles, only five are for men. But it was also often said that one scene in particular appealed to the teen sense of humor: accounts of performances often describe the spanking as the play’s high point. For instance, at the Quakertown Community High School, Pennsylvania, where this was the senior play by the Class of 1952, there was ‘rollicking laughter produced when Bill Price spanked Cynthia King for meddling in his affairs’. Here’s Cynthia being spanked:

01a 1952 Quakertown Community HS

… but you’ll just have to imagine the rollicking laughter for yourselves!

High schools across America regularly produced plays in the junior and senior years as a social and educative experience for the students: they learnt teamwork and practical skills, and the plays usually taught lessons about decent behavior and social responsibility, which meant that a fair few of them included spankings for naughty girls who crossed the line. We’ll encounter some of them in later installments. But Streetcars was a high school phenomenon. Although publicity for the 1951 Dupo production enthusiastically spoke of it as a ‘Broadway classic’, it was never professionally produced; in fact, I know of only one non-school production, given by the Fayetteville Dramatic Club, West Virginia, on August 8, 1952. But that may simply be because school productions are easier to track down, thanks to that annual monument to teenage enthusiasm, optimism and narcissism, the high school yearbook, many of which are now freely available online.

Each year, in most schools, a book would be compiled by members of the outgoing senior class, documenting the school’s activities and achievements of the year, or else those of the class in the longer course of its school career. There is usually a record of the school’s dramatic productions for that year (and sometimes also the year before, if the editors were more interested in what their particular class did, even as juniors). Often there would be photographs from the production, obviously concentrating on the scenes that were considered the highlights. And, like I said before, the highlight of Streetcars was the spanking scene!

Now we’re going to take an overview of the whole history of the play, school year by school year, from its beginnings to its eventual demise. I won’t document every single production – even if I could guarantee its comprehensiveness, such a list would be laborious to compile and tedious to read – but I shall aim to show at least one photo from each school year, except for a handful where the play was either not produced at all, or no spanking photos have so far come to light. Maudie Mason, prepare to be spanked, and spanked, and spanked again!

1950-51

There were at least 29 productions in what was, remember, only really half a year since the play wasn’t released until early 1951. We’ve already seen one from Pennsylvania, and here’s another from South Kitsap High School, Port Orchard, Washington State, where Streetcars was the junior play. Maudie is played by Emarlyn Repanich, and she is being spanked by Harry Macomber:

02 1951 South Kitsap HS

1951-52

There were at least 95 productions. The example selected here was at Oconomowoc High School, Wisconsin, on March 13, 1952, and shows Sandra Lewis getting her bottom spanked:

03 1952 Oconomowoc HS

With so many productions, and only so many days in the year, it’s not very surprising to find that many performances took place on exactly the same day – which means that the spankings must all have been happening more or less simultaneously! There are several particular ‘golden days’ when this phenomenon occurred, but the record-breaker was Friday, November 16, 1951, with no fewer than seven simultaneous performances, though of course we have to allow for a slight variation across two US time zones.

Starting with Eastern Standard Time, we could visit the senior play at East High School, Auburn, New York, where Ann Melrose is being spanked by the class president, Edward Nemec, though this is one where we don’t have a picture. Meanwhile, over in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Ann Tabor is over the knees of Ron Haltermon:

Streetcars 1952 Mount Vernon

And at the Harris-Elmore High School in the same state, the same fate has befallen a junior of unknown name:

Streetcars 1952 Harris Elmore HS

… while up in Michigan, Streetcars was also the junior play at Saline High School, with John McCoy administering the spanking. We don’t know to whom, because the yearbook editors not only failed to include a photo of the spanking but also ineptly left Maudie off the cast list – but whoever she was, she could look forward to a second dose the following night.

Meanwhile, in the Central time zone, Patricia Yarne has the opposite problem: yesterday she was soundly spanked by Kenneth Zipperer in the senior play at South Division High School, Milwaukee, and now faces a repeat performance tonight:

Streetcars 1952 South Division HS

Next we go down from Wisconsin to Illinois, where Doreen Zimmerman is being spanked by Milton Sherman in the junior play at Eureka High School – another one with a second performance to come on the Saturday night, and another one with no picture. And finally, at Greenville High School, the junior play is already on its  second performance, and Pat Pacatte’s bottom is undergoing stern measures from Norman Taylor.

StreetCars 1952 Greenville HS

That was a Friday evening when the East and Midwest fairly resounded with spankings! And who knows, there may even have been other performances whose date can’t now be pinned down exactly…

1952-53

There were at least 56 productions. Our example takes us back to Pennsylvania, where Richard Steyert is spanking Peggy Lewis in the Allentown High School junior play:

04 1953 Allentown HS

There’s a bonus this year. The next photo has been shown before elsewhere, but it’s such an interesting historical curio that it cries out to be seen in its period context:

04a 1953 Chaffey HS

Now, that didn’t happen anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line! In fact it’s the junior play at the obviously admirably liberal Chaffey High School, Ontario, California. Jerry is Joe Agopay, and the indignity of the spanking, and the spanking alone, is being suffered by Karen Ellsworth as Maudie.

1953-54

There were at least 26 productions: the play had been a smash hit in the first eighteen months of its existence, and now it was settling down as a solid item in the available repertory, gradually mopping up schools that hadn’t yet got to it. Fans of Maudie Mason were also now able to produce a second play about her, the sequel Stag Line, in which Maudie interferes some more, but regrettably doesn’t get another spanking, despite Jerry’s ‘lay off the cupid stuff’ threat towards the end of Streetcars. But of course justice continued to be done in Streetcars itself. For example, the junior play at St Joseph High School, Michigan, featured this spanking, administered to Carol Milnikel by Paul Hurd:

05 1954 St Joseph HS

1954-55

There were at least 38 productions. This year we go to Arizona and the junior play at Yuma Union High School:

06 1955 Yuma Union HS

1955-56

This year, with a minimum of just 16 productions, marks the point when the play’s fortunes really began to drop off slowly. But the Maudie Mason phenomenon continued to expand with the release of the third play in the series, Maudie and the Opposite Sex – a title that schools sometimes shortened to just Maudie, no doubt in order to get rid of the final word. Maudie again escaped unspanked in her encounter with the opposite genital group, but here’s what you would have seen Jack Sartin doing to Linda Hensley if you attended the junior production of Streetcars at Carthage High School, Missouri, on November 3 and 4, 1955:

07 1956 Carthage HS

1956-57

There were at least 15 productions. Now we’re headed down south, to Louisiana. Here is the spanking scene as it featured in the junior play at Annunciation High School in New Orleans:

08 1957 Annunciation HS

1957-58

There were at least 16 productions. This one is the junior play at Greenfield High School, Indiana, with Dave Heller as Jerry and Linda Fleming as Maudie:

09 1958 Greenfield HS

Interestingly, the school also produced Stag Line, the sequel, that same year, but with a different student playing Maudie.

1958-59

There were at least 9 productions. To Illinois now, and the senior play at Belvidere High school, where Craig Auman had two months of rehearsals to perfect his spanking technique on Georgeann Gibson before putting it into practise before an audience on April 30 and May 1, 1959:

10 1959 Belvidere HS

1959-60

There were at least 14 productions. Here’s the junior play at Canfield High School, Ohio:

11 1960 Canfield HS

1960-61

There were at least 7 productions. The senior play at Charleroi High School, Pennsylvania, with Ronald Applbaum and Barbara Cantoni, illustrates how the newspapers used to love a good spanking scene.

11a 1961 Charleroi HS press11b 1961 Charleroi HS

The second, clearer photograph, snapped a few moments later at the same rehearsal, is the one that appeared in the yearbook.

1961-62

There were at least 10 productions, the last year I have a number in double figures. The picture is from Cocalico High School, Denver, Pennsylvania, and shows Gerald Longenecker making an impact on Dorothy Goode in the junior play:

12 1962 Cocalico HS

1962-63

There were at least 3 productions, but only one left a spanking photo. Happily it’s an excellent one, from East Rutherford High School, New Jersey, where Streetcars was the junior play and Barbara Flenner was Maudie:

13 1963 East Rutherford HS

1963-64

There were at least 5 productions, but again only one photograph, another good one from Kansas High School, Illinois. It’s the senior play, with Roy Ballinger and Ginny Washburn:

14 1964 Kansas HS

I’ve always thought that in this photo Ginny looks a lot like Carole Ann Ford, who was playing Doctor Who’s granddaughter Susan over in Britain at the exact same time, and who was famously threatened with ‘a jolly good smacked bottom’ in one of her episodes!

There’s another bit of trivia from this year to recount, concerning the production at Chillicothe High School, Missouri. Susan Burton was due to have her bottom spanked by Harry Hargrave, but it’s very likely that she escaped, or at least was granted a temporary reprieve. The reason? The performance was scheduled for November 22, 1963… and it’s unlikely many Americans wanted to see a bright teen comedy on that particular evening, after the afternoon’s events in Dallas…

At this point in the play’s history, with the clear downturn in its popularity, the Dramatic Publishing Company decided it needed a makeover, which meant in practice, giving it a new title. Out went Men are Like Streetcars, and in came It Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Girl.

1964-65

There were at least 2 productions, both under the new title, and once again we have but a single option when it comes to spanking photographs. This is from Cambridge High School, Ohio, where it was presented as the junior play on April 24, 1965. Jerry is played by a (not the) James Mason, and Carole Shelby is Maudie:

15 1965 Cambridge HS

1965-66

There were at least 5 productions, one of which (at Martinsville High School, Indiana) used the old Streetcars title for the last time. Meanwhile, the spanking that couldn’t happen to a nicer girl happened to Gay Griffith in the senior play at Idabel High School, Oklahoma, courtesy of Bobby Franklin:

16 1966 Idabel HS

1966-67

There were at least 4 productions, but again there’s no choice for us in the spanking photo: off we go to Wyandotte High School, Kansas City, where Chris Harris is spanking Vivian Poje:

17 1967 Wyandotte HS

It’s an interesting footnote that this was the second time the school had produced the play, and both productions were directed by the same teacher, William Knapp. Here’s his first production, in the school year 1957-58, with John Richeson and Bonnie Bachert:

17a 1958 Wyandotte HS

Comparing the two pictures brings out one obvious point of contrast, a subject we’ll come back to after we’ve finished this survey of the play’s history…

1967-68

… which will not take us long, because in this year there were no known productions…

1968-69

… and in this year, although there were at least two productions, I have photographs from neither of them.

1969-70

There were at least two productions, and the one at Prescott High School, Arizona, in February 1970, provides the latest known spanking photograph of the play. Jerry was played by senior Scott Sturdevant. Here’s how he appeared elsewhere in his high school yearbook:

18a 1970 Prescott Scott S

And Maudie was junior Mazie Rice, seen here in costume for the production.

18b 1970 Prescott Mazie R

Given the way teen fashion was going at the time, she probably had to wear a pantsuit for the spanking scene!

18c 1970 Prescott HS

(Incidentally, anyone trying to tell you that’s a teacher/pupil spanking doesn’t know that the teacher responsible for the production was named Mrs Ethel B. Tyson.)

And from here on, the history just gets patchy. There were at least two more productions, one at Pique High School, Ohio, on March 10, 1973, with Garry Shirk spanking Leslie Tyler, and one in the school year 1973-4 at Hood River Valley High School in Oregon, but for this final outing we don’t even know the name of the girl who played Maudie. And then the play disappeared into obscurity. At some point, the Dramatic Publishing Company stopped offering it, so it remains the least likely of Christopher Sergel’s plays to be picked up again.

Have you been keeping count? That gives us a grand total of at least 356 productions, and that’s only the ones I’ve been able to find using easily accessible online archives – in fact, it must be only the tip of the iceberg! So that’s an awful lot of American girls who were soundly spanked in the name of art!

In fact, it’s even more than 356, because at least six of the productions were double cast: in order to spread opportunity and participation across a large student body, two different girls played Maudie in different performances. For instance, here is John MacFarlane spanking Shirley Fekety in the senior play ay Edgewood High School, Pennsylvania, on December 7, 1951:

19 1952 Edgewood HS

But if you’d seen the performance the day before, you’d have seen Patricia Hoyer being spanked by Ross Flanagan – though sadly there’s no photographic record of that event!

One notable feature of that last picture is the ‘magazine in motion’ effect, and it raises the subject of authenticity. High school students are not trained actors, so you wouldn’t expect many of them to have the knack of making a spanking look convincing without actually doing it for real. We have at least one bit of testimony confirming that a Streetcars spanking was genuine, from Madison Memorial High School, Ohio, where it was the junior play on November 22, 1957. The yearbook later said that one of the few ‘unfortunate experiences’ associated with what was otherwise a much enjoyed production was: ‘Maudie’s overworked backside’. And if you want to know what it looks like to overwork a girl’s backside, well, here’s the scene:

20 1957-8 Madison Memorial HS

Now, you’ll have noticed that more than half of the spankings we’ve seen so far have been ‘left-handers’, with the girl’s head pointing to the left, like this:

21 1953 Elizabethtown Area HS

(By the way, that’s Julia Shank being spanked by Richard Wenger in the 1952-53 senior play at Elizabethtown Area High School, Pennsylvania.)

This phenomenon isn’t because of a disproportionate number of southpaw Jerries – in fact, there are some shots where he is using his right hand to spank her even though she is in the ‘left-handed’ OTK position, like this:

22 1952 Bremen HS

(This Maudie is Berdine Heckaman, in the 1951-52 junior play at Bremen High School, Indiana.)

And even when they rehearsed it right-handed, as David Adams and Nancy Beagle did for the junior play at Whitney Point High School, New York…

23 1955 Whitney Point HS rehearsal

… when it came to the three actual performances, on March 23-25, 1955, the left-hand position had asserted itself:

24 1955 Whitney Point HS production

There are actually two reasons why this kept on happening. The first is the way the scene is written. You’ll remember that, true to the novel, the stage direction specifies that Jerry takes hold of Maudie by the scruff of her neck and forces her down across his knee. When a right-hander does that, the girl will go down with her bottom under his left hand, as seen in this picture from Battle Creek High School, Michigan, where Streetcars was the 1951 junior play:

25 1951 Battle Creek Central HS

The other consideration is the scene’s ‘blocking': where the scenery and actors are positioned on stage. Like most plays of this era that were published with a view to amateur production, the Streetcars script includes a diagram showing how the stage is to be set:

26 Stage Chart

The sofa is set to stage left (which is the right-hand side of the stage from the audience’s point of view). This means that the right-handed OTK position puts Maudie’s face a long way over towards the edge of the stage area, throwing focus off her reaction to the spanking and putting her lower half closer to center stage. You may get an inkling of the effect in this splendid picture from May 19, 1962, showing Ed Hillson spanking Linda Cole at Berea High School, Ohio:

27 1962 Berea HS

And a clearer sense of the advantages of the left-handed position emerges when you see how the sofa sits on the whole stage, as in this one of the 1954-55 junior play at Audubon High School, New Jersey:

28 1955 Audubon HS

But the script didn’t always rule every detail of the play in every production. For one thing, only about half of the productions seem to have stuck to the script and had Maudie spanked with a magazine. The other Maudies, like Jo Ann Elsea in the 1951-52 junior play at Southport High School, Indianapolis, felt the palm of Jerry’s hand across their bottoms:

28a 1952 Southport HS

(For those who want to know, that Jerry is Bennie Wise.)

Moreover, when she is spanked in the second act, Maudie is preparing for a party, and the script specifies that she wears ‘an attractive informal party dress’. So she does, sometimes, like Margy Murray at Northborough High School, Massachusetts, where she was spanked by Arnie Prudhomme on December 6, 1956:

29 1957 Northborough HS

But in the play’s earliest years, you would be just as likely to see her portrayed as a tomboy in jeans, as in this 1951-52 production from Windber Area High School, Pennsylvania:

30 Windber Area HS

Sometimes her party ensemble includes a pair of elegant court shoes with heels, like Norma Jones, who was spanked by Bill Ferguson on November 19, 1954, in the junior play at Pittsfield High School, Illinois:

31 1955 Pittsfield HS

But she might also be a bobby-soxer in flatties, like Renate Griemsmann’s Maudie at Oceanside High School, New York, in 1954-55, here being spanked by Richard Bozek:

32 1955 Oceanside HS

And mention of socks brings us to the junior play at Bullard High School, Fresno, California, on November 21, 1958. I don’t have a photo of Lindy Cope across Terril LeMoss’ knee, but this shot of the immediate aftermath makes me really wish I did:

33 1959 Bullard HS immediately post spanking

And as we move into the 1960s, more and more Maudies opted for elegant pantsuits, like Kathleen Nyman at Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, where she was spanked in the junior play by Robert Johnson on March 9 and 10, 1962…

34 1962 Haddonfield Memorial HS

… or, right on the other side of the country at Oceana High School, Pacifica, California, Robin Pappas, whose spanking took place across Greg Vallee’s knee on May 4, 1966:

35 1966 Oceana HS

But how I wish the later ’60s and early ’70s were better documented!

If you have enjoyed these pictures, you can find many more here. But remember, everything in this article, except for the script of the play, was compiled from resources that are freely available on the internet. This is research that anyone who’s interested can do for themselves, and there must be a lot of material out there still waiting to be found and shared. Streetcars spanking pics are like streetcars… there’ll always be another one along soon!

In the Photographer’s Studio (9)

We return to the world of stock photography for this week’s installment, and our subject is Helsinki-based Vika Valter. She is also often her own subject: as well as her stock work, she is known for her self-portraits. Here she is:

VikaValter

Some of these are, shall we say, pleasingly unconventional:

VikaValter1

But not nearly so pleasing as the way she photographed herself in a Brighton hotel room on May 5, 2011:

Vika Valter 01

I don’t know who the chap is, but Vika wasn’t the only girl he tried to spank that day. It seems, however, that she was admirably self-sacrificing:

VikaValter 02

Greater love has no woman than to lay down her bottom in the defense of her friend!

If you are interested in Vika’s work, please visit her website.

Till Further Orders

I can’t show you a single picture of this week’s play, spanking or otherwise. As I mentioned last week, Till Further Orders was performed with astonishing frequency over thirty years, but no photographs have yet come to light. I can’t even show you the face of a pretty actress who got spanked, because the play seems never once to have received a professional production. The author, the prolific Wilfred Massey, specialized in writing and publishing plays for amateur groups, and while a few of them occasionally found their way into the hands of professional repertory companies, Till Further Orders wasn’t among them. After it was licensed by the Lord Chamberlain on December 20, 1937, it bypassed all the usual stages of a play’s life in the theater and went ‘straight to amdram’ for its Christmas premiere at St George’s Hall, Leicester.

The comedy deals with a romantic triangle with commercial artist Ronnie Phipps at its apex. His fiancée, Brenda Harvey, and her widowed mother are staying in his suburban house while their own is being redecorated. The trouble begins, as indeed does the play, when Mrs Harvey answers the telephone and it’s a girl, Carol Mayson. In reality, the young and pretty Carol is a friend of Ronnie’s sister and housemate, and she too wants to stay at the house to hide from her father, who thinks she’s run wild since her mother’s death and is trying to marry her off against her will so that she will not disrupt his campaign to be elected mayor.

It is established early on that Brenda, who is in her early 20s, has ‘a jealous nature’, which is successfully stoked by her mother. So it’s bad news for Ronnie when Carol turns up and starts unpacking. He throws her out, but fails to notice that she inadvertently dropped what the script coyly calls ‘an item of underwear’ on the floor. (‘A pair of folded silk stockings would do,’ it adds for the benefit of any prudes who might consider mounting a production.) When Brenda arrives to hear Carol’s car leaving, Ronnie lies that it was the plumber, but Brenda finds the apparently incriminating garment: ‘I suppose that plumber of yours wears frilly panties,’ she says. That’s torn it: he gets the panties thrown in his face. He has only just managed to smooth things over when Carol returns to the house. (‘What do you want?’ she is asked. ‘Pair of pants,’ comes the reply.) And that does it: Brenda walks out, and the play is set on course for a spanking!

Since Carol is described by a newspaper as (in clipped headline style) ‘Untamable Wildcat Daughter of Alderman’, this is a story that could go two different ways. Carol is called a ‘spoilt, bad-tempered, ill-mannered type’ by her eventual fiancé, Alan, and following a spat near the end of the play he asks, ‘Did nobody ever think of smacking you?’ Afterwards she admits that he is right: ‘That’s what I need – smacking. Good and hard. Three times a day, after meals.’

And that line of dialog means that we must pause in order to address a point of semantics. Last month I bemoaned the way people writing about the act of smacking a girl will often unhelpfully inflate it into spanking her, raising expectations and thereby setting the reader up for disappointment. Now, Wilfred Massey is another person who often collapses that useful distinction – except that he does it in the opposite direction. Which means that all this talk about how Carol needs to be smacked is actually about the much more enticing prospect of her being spanked.

According to one enthusiastic review that Massey quoted in advertisements for the play, ‘every leading lady will yearn to play Carol Mayson’. Maybe that’s because she doesn’t actually get spanked good and hard, though you can never be sure what will happen after the end of the play. No, events go the other way, and it’s Carol who is instrumental in that. When Ronnie is at his wit’s end over Brenda’s jealous tantrums, Carol advises him what to do: ‘Personally, I should try a hairbrush. A good, strong, hard one.’

The crunch comes early in the third act, when Ronnie fetches Brenda out in a fireman’s lift over his shoulder.

She is screaming and kicking wildly, beating at Ronnie’s back.

BRENDA: Ronnie Phipps – put me down!

RONNIE: Not till you listen to me!

Carol insists that Brenda must give them a chance to explain, but Brenda won’t listen. So…

CAROL: Look out!

Smacks Brenda.

BRENDA: Oh! Stop it! Don’t do that! Don’t! .. Oh! (etc., etc.)

Carol then stops and asks if she’s ready to hear out Ronnie’s story. She isn’t.

BRENDA: Oh!! (as Carol begins smacking her again) Stop it! Stop it!! Wait till I get down, that’s all!! OH!!! Ronald Phipps, you beast – make her stop!

CAROL (not stopping): Will you listen?

BRENDA: No! … OH!! OH!!

ALAN (running in by door right): Who’s being murdered?

BRENDA: Oh! All right – all right! Stop – I’ll listen!!

Carol stops, Ronnie puts Brenda down. She turns on Carol.

BRENDA: You’ll be sorry for that!!

She’d have said anything to stop the spanking, but now it’s over she goes back on her word. Carol tells Ronnie to lift her up again – but Brenda runs off, and the play moves on.

After several successful decades on the amateur circuit, the play’s vogue was on the wane in the mid-1960s, but it was still occasionally being performed ten years after that; the latest production I have a note of was in 1976 at Seaford Little Theatre. And yet, as I mentioned above, I have yet to encounter a photograph of the spanking scene. Maybe there’s one tucked away somewhere in the forgotten offline archives of one of those ‘amdram’ companies. Maybe one day it will be posted somewhere as a historical curio. We can only hope!

In the Photographer’s Studio (8)

Today’s photographer is Kenneth Nicholas of St Louis, Missouri, who works all over the US under the nickname Noisenest. One of his trademarks is a ‘misty’, faded style of image which, in the case of the pictures we are looking at today, might suggest that they were found tucked away in a suitcase from fifty-odd years ago.

The shoot was at Fort Lauderdale on May 14, 2010, and, unusually, one of the models does not need to be introduced.

Noisenest Lourdes

We last encountered Lourdes Dodds being photographed by Riley Kern in 2009 as she gave the back of the hairbrush to her fellow model on the shoot. But now her luck’s run out, because this time she’s going to be spanked…

The other model is from North Carolina and works under the name Porcelain. Pardon me while we take a long look…

Porcelain 1Porcelain 1aPorcelain 2Porcelain 3Porcelain 4Porcelain 5Porcelain 7Porcelain 6

That was worth doing, if for no other reason, in order to establish absolutely and beyond any doubt that Porcelain, who also works as a burlesque dancer, is a girl. Because in Fort Lauderdale the team came up with an uncommon way of doing a pin-up shoot with two girls:

Noisenest 1

And that means that, just for once, we have a pin-up spanking that has been shot with professional models but is also M/F! Well, sort of…

Noisenest Kitchen Spanks

If you are interested in Noisenest’s work, please visit his portfolio.

Friendly Relations

The 1952 stage comedy Friendly Relations was written by James Liggat (1920-81), an actor who also appeared in the first production. He later became a very highly respected casting director in the British film industry, notably on Dr No – so he was partly responsible for Sean Connery becoming James Bond! His daughter, Susie Liggat, works in television and was for a time the producer of Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The play concerns the complications that arise while an Australian, Michael Barry, is staying for Christmas with the Watson family in Britain. Anne Watson, the elder daughter of the family, plans a romantic conquest, but he is more interested in the family’s ward, Margaret Lee. Margaret in turn loves the inarticulate son of the family (the part Liggat wrote for himself), and Michael does the decent thing and enables them to get married. Anne draws the wrong conclusions about what has happened, and domestic mayhem ensues before they ultimately get engaged.

At the end of the second act, Michael tells Anne that she needs ‘metaphorically spanking’. At the end of the third act, it becomes more than a metaphor: before they are married, he says, there is something he has to do to her. Here’s the script:

MICHAEL: You really are the most spoiled brat it’s ever been my misfortune to meet. I hate having to do this, darling, but for the sake of our future happiness I see quite clearly that it’s the only way. You’re horribly spoiled and you’ve got to be cured once and for all.

ANNE: No! Don’t dare to lay a finger on me. Do you hear? Michael – don’t you dare.

MICHAEL: I hate having to do this darling.

He chases and catches her.

ANNE: Don’t you dare!

MICHAEL: Sorry, but …

He carries her, kicking and shouting, to the sofa, and puts her across his knee.

At this point the family comes in to congratulate them on their engagement, but…

Their words die on their lips and they stand aghast at the spectacle of Anne struggling furiously against the spanking which Michael is about to administer as

THE CURTAIN FALLS

James Liggat wrote the play in 1952. The Lord Chamberlain licensed it on August 23, and it opened in Wimbledon in September, then toured before coming to London in December: it opened at St Martin’s Theatre on Boxing Day and ran for about seven months, followed by a brief post-London tour in August 1953. In the course of this period the production and casting changed in several significant ways.

First off, the role of Michael passed between three successive actors, and there were also two Annes. In the initial tour, Michael was played by Derek Bond, who was a film star best known for playing the title role in the 1947 Cavalcanti version of Nicholas Nickleby. The girl he was spanking was also a film star (or starlet), Patricia Dainton, who had recently played Steve (the hero’s journalist wife) in one of the Paul Temple movies. Here she is:

Patricia Dainton

By the London opening in December, Bond had left the show, and his replacement was Barry Sinclair – not such a name to conjure with, and notable mainly because he was Patricia Dainton’s husband at the time. By the time the show went back on the road in August, Michael was Roy Purcell and Anne was Joan Forest – neither of them household names, though Purcell did go on to become the President of the Time Lords in Doctor Who in 1973.

A play can change in many small ways as it goes through rehearsal and previews and a preliminary tour, and one thing that we know changed about Friendly Relations was the spanking scene. As you can see from the script extract above, James Liggat originally envisaged it as a ‘curtain scene’ requiring split-second timing on the part of the stage manager, so that the curtain comes down before the spanking begins. But this proved impossible to stage: the final scene as written has just too much business packed into those closing seconds. Think about it: after Michael puts Anne across his knee, the family comes bustling onstage and gets a shock as they realize what is happening. Is Michael supposed to wait for them, suspended between the intention and the deed, until the curtain eventually comes down? By the time it got to London (and I would guess a whole lot earlier, probably during rehearsals), the ending had been fixed so that the spanking has already started when the family arrive and gather round to watch. A ‘quick curtain’ then ensures that the actress can still sit down for the next performance!

Well, usually. This scene was the subject of an urban legend that used to circulate in the British theatrical profession. Apparently in one performance the curtain got stuck, and in consequence, just for once, Patricia Dainton got the spanking in full! I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s an amusing story.

But that’s not the end of it, because the scene was altered again before the end of the run. Even the revised version they were playing at the start of the London run seems to have been too cumbersome, and there is a second revision in the version of the script that was published in 1953 by Samuel French (the veteran British playscript publishing firm). This time Michael ‘begins to spank her as the curtain falls’, and then the curtain comes up again with the spanking still going on. The family enter to congratulate the happy couple and are surprised at what they see, and Anne’s father interrupts the spanking to shake Michael by the hand – curtain again. This means that the audience sees the beginning and end of the spanking (which must still be fairly extended to allow for the business associated with the family’s entrance), but not the middle: there’s the implication that Anne spends quite a long time wriggling painfully over her fiancé’s knee, without forcing the actress to undergo the same. This version also introduces an overt sign of paternal approval, whereas previously the whole family was just astonished.

When the show opened in London, the press got some publicity mileage out of the spanking scene:

MP_C6341-001MP_C6341

These are backstage posed photos, not a record of the scene as it appeared in the play itself. It’s interesting that they posed it two different ways, which would have entailed her getting up from his lap and then back again. She looks a lot more distressed in the ‘left-handed’ pose (below), which might be because there are children watching her being spanked, but might also be because his hand appears to be in motion!

The two pictures were taken by the Daily Mirror on December 22, 1952, four days before the show opened, so they would have appeared in the newspaper the next morning, December 23. Were other newspapers represented? Might there be other spanking snaps out there waiting to be found?

Now we turn to the ‘afterlife’ of the play, when it was released for repertory productions. The earliest was at Penzance in August 1953 while the post-London tour was still going on. The best known was later that year at the Prince’s Theatre, Bradford, in 1953, in which the actress playing Anne was called Patricia Pilkington. She later changed her stage name to Pat Phoenix and found fame in the long-running British soap Coronation Street. She included a rather attractive photograph of herself being spanked in her autobiography (All My Burning Bridges, published in 1974), and this is now widely reproduced on the web, though often without information about its origins and context. Here it is:

1953 Bradford

In the autobiography she captioned the photo with the information that she got her own back – by biting his leg!

Photos of repertory productions are always hard to come by, but there are two spanking stills from amateur stagings of Friendly Relations. Here is the end of the play as performed in February 1961 by The Mercators, an amateur group in Edinburgh:

1961 Friendly Relations 1961

It’s obviously a staged publicity shot, since the actress playing Anne is out of character and smiling. Whereas the panic of the moment comes across well in this especially nice one from exactly ten years later, by the Guild Players of Deal in Kent, in February 1971:

Guild Players 1971

The Guild Players website includes a review of the production which contains the comment:

‘Tess Ashton played the precocious elder daughter with considerable ability: such ability in fact no one was sorry when she got a well-deserved spanking at the curtain fall.’

Yes, it’s Tessa Ashton again — the girl who also got spanked when the Deal Players produced Fools Rush In later the same year!

(Actually that may not have been the only time something like this happened. I know of several cases of professional and amateur companies that produced more than one spanking play in the same season … so maybe in each case there was a young actress who specialized in being spanked!)

Just as a little bonus, here’s another shot of Tessa Ashton in maid’s uniform in the company’s previous production, Dinner with the Family … whose script, unfortunately, doesn’t call for her to be spanked!

Tessa Ashton Maid  1970

Also unfortunately, Friendly Relations was not done especially often in repertory or by amateur drama groups. Between 1953 and 1964, there were 41 productions in professional repertory and touring theater throughout Britain. That’s a lot of spankings! But it’s not phenomenal compared with other plays of the period. Most towns had a repertory theater at this time and they put on productions weekly, so they really needed a big turnover of plays. There were 49 professional productions of It’s Never Too Late between 1955 and 1958 alone, and 91 of The Little Hut between 1954 and 1975. Likewise, I have notes of only 14 amateur productions of Friendly Relations between 1954 and 1971, compared with 37 of It’s Never Too Late between 1956 and 1973. Apart from Kiss Me Kate, the most popular spanking play with amateurs seems to have been Till Further Orders: 128 productions over 29 years from 1937 to 1966 … and those are only the ones I know about!

So Friendly Relations was never an outstandingly popular spanking play in the way that Kiss Me Kate or The Little Hut were. But what’s nice about is that, unlike many other plays, we can be pretty confident that the spanking was a prominent feature of every single performance. Often enough, a stage spanking is relatively marginal, a piece of business whose removal wouldn’t affect the overall story and structure of the play and wouldn’t require the kind of patching that would need a new licence from the Lord Chamberlain. But in Friendly Relations, the spanking scene is structurally central: it simply can’t be cut or even skimped on, because then the play just wouldn’t have an ending!

In the Photographer’s Studio (7)

Today’s photographer is based in Cologne, and signs her work Miss Giggles. But that is the name of her project – her real name is Tessa Schlick. She has been shooting professionally for ten years and says she is interested in conveying personality, something her pictures do admirably. She quickly found that the genre in which she could really express herself was retro pin-up – and so Miss Giggles was born.

Here’s a pin-up, in more ways than one. The girl who’s being pinned up is the Hamburg burlesque dancer Belle la Donna.

Miss Giggles 0 Pin Up 1

This is obviously not a straight piece of photography, but a witty collage. Just to prove it, here is a different treatment of one of the same elements:

Miss giggles 0 pin up 2

So what I want to know is, what was happening in the original photo that Belle la Donna was snipped out of – and, most importantly, was there a second figure in it … sitting down, maybe?

Some of Miss Giggles’ subjects are professional models and performers, but some are amateur pin-up enthusiasts. Here’s one who brought a friend along with her to a shoot on October 18, 2009:

Miss Giggles 3a haue

And the outcome was:

Miss Giggles 3B haue2

Let’s meet another girl, who appears to be called Kitty:

Miss Giggles kitty 0

On March 3, 2007, she got into a fight with another model on the shoot:

Miss Giggles kitty 1

I don’t know why: it’s not as if either of them needs the shoe. But I think we can tell who won:

Miss Giggles kitty 2

And saving the best for last, here’s proof that rank has its privileges in the pin-up equivalent of the US Navy:

Miss Giggles Sarah Pape spanks Julia Langstrumpf

In case you’re wondering, that’s Seawoman Julia Langstrumpf getting her nautical panties spanked by ship’s captain Sarah Pape.

If you are interested in Miss Giggles’ work, please visit her website.

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